People are accusing Starbucks of debuting the Pumpkin Spice Latte earlier every year -- here's the truth

PslStarbucksThe Pumpkin Spice Latte has become an autumnal icon.

Starbucks started serving its Pumpkin Spice Latte on Friday — at least at some locations.

But some people are not pleased with the “early” launch of the autumnal beverage. 

“Pumpkin Spice Glut Arrives Earlier Than Ever,” reads a headline from an article published in The New York Times Wednesday. 

“The capstone event is the arrival of Starbucks’s cult-favourite drink, the Pumpkin Spice Latte — the best-known pumpkin spice product in the market,” Tiffany Hsu writes in the piece. “Two years ago, the drink returned to stores on Sept. 8; last year, on Sept. 6. This year, it’s expected to arrive as soon as Friday, Sept. 1.” 

On Twitter, many people agreed with Hsu — Pumpkin Spice Latte season is starting too early, and it is beginning on an earlier date each year. 

It is true that some pumpkin spice products are launching earlier than in prior years, in part because new pumpkin spice products are created every year. McDonald’s debuted its own Pumpkin Spice Latte in August, and Starbucks began selling its new bottled PSL in stores last month as well.

When you look at the actual launch dates of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, however, they’re pretty consistent. 

This year, customers started ordering the Pumpkin Spice Latte on September 1, even though Starbucks had not formally announced the beverage’s launch date. It remains unclear when the PSL will officially launch this year, but there have been rumours of a September 5 debut. 

Starbucks began serving Pumpkin Spice Lattes on September 1 last year, even though the drink didn’t officially begin appearing on menus until September 6. In 2015, customers in the know could access a special pass online to get the PSL on September 4, before the official September 8 launch. And, in 2014, customers who participated in an online scavenger hunt could order the drink on August 26, prior to the September 2 launch date.

In other words, PSL season does not get earlier every year. Customers can usually get the drink early right around September 1, and the seasonal menu item typically makes its official debut soon after Labour Day. 

Consider the “PSL arrives earlier every year” theory thoroughly debunked. 

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